Vatican Priest Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, abducted from Yemen, released after 18 months

ANI | Updated: Sep 12, 2017 17:26 IST

New Delhi [India], Sep 12 (ANI): Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Vatican priest hailing from India, who was abducted last year in Yemen, has been rescued.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday took to Twitter to inform, "I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued."

Father Uzhunnalil was reportedly kidnapped in March 4, 2016 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Yemen, when they attacked a retirement home in Aden run by the Missionaries of Charity, killing 16 people, including four nuns.

As per Oman Observer, "In compliance with the His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Oman in coordination with the Yemeni parties have managed find a Vatican priest," adding, he was transferred to Muscat from where he is now on way back to his home in Kerala.

"In response to the Royal Orders of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and as per a request from the Vatican to assist in the rescuing of a Vatican employee, the concerned authorities in the Sultanate, in coordination with the Yemeni authorities, have managed to find a Vatican government employee. He was transferred this morning to Muscat in preparation for his return home," the Oman Government said in a statement.

"Tom Uzhunnalil, a Vatican priest, expressed thanks to God Almighty and appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. He also thanked his brothers and sisters and all relatives and friends who called on God for safety and release," Oman Observer further reported.

The Indian Government, last year, confirmed that efforts were underway to ensure that he is released.

"Fr Tom Uzhunnallil - an Indian national from Kerala was abducted by a terror group in Yemen. We r making all efforts to secure his release," Swaraj tweeted back then. (ANI)

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